The American Heroes Collection: Hal Moore, Shadow Commander, and American Guerrilla

Open Road Media
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Three stirring military portraits—including a biography of the Vietnam War hero who wrote the New York Times bestseller, We Were Soldiers Once . . . and Young.
 
Hal Moore: A heroic commander in the Vietnam War, Harold G. Moore cowrote the New York Times–bestselling memoir of the battle at Ia Drang and was portrayed by Mel Gibson in the film We Were Soldiers. This “outstanding” and definitive biography expands on the account of that pivotal battle to encompass Moore’s distinguished military career from the Korean War through his courageous and invaluable service in Vietnam (Armchair General).
 
Shadow Commander: In World War II, US Army legend Donald Blackburn escaped from Bataan along with Russell W. Volckmann and organized the guerrilla fighters known as “Blackburn’s Headhunters” against the Japanese. He would go on to play a key role in the Vietnam War, revitalizing Army Special Forces operations in Southeast Asia, spearheading Operation White Star in Laos, and eventually taking command of the highly classified Studies and Observations Group (SOG). Blackburn was also the architect of the infamous Son Tay Prison Raid, officially termed Operation Ivory Coast, the largest prisoner-of-war rescue mission of the Vietnam War.
 
“A follow-up to a fine bio of Russell Volckmann, this tale of guerrilla warfare spans from Bataan to Vietnam.” —World War II Magazine
 
American Guerrilla: Here is Russell Volckmann’s own story, from his refusal to surrender at Bataan to raising a Filipino army of more than twenty-two thousand men and leading a guerrilla war against the Japanese for the next three years. When General Yamashita finally surrendered, he made his initial overtures not to General Douglas MacArthur, but to Volckmann. The progenitor of modern counterinsurgency doctrine, Volkmann wrote the field manuals that became the US Army’s first handbooks outlining the precepts for both special warfare and counter-guerrilla operations, making him the true “father” of Army Special Forces.
 
“[Volckmann’s private army] waged arguably the most successful guerrilla campaign of the entire war . . . Mr. Guardia argues, convincingly, that Volckmann deserves the title of ‘father’ of Special Forces.” —The Washington Times
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About the author

Mike Guardia is an internationally recognized author and military historian. A veteran of the US Army, he served six years on active duty as an armor officer. He is the author of the widely acclaimed Hal Moore: A Soldier Once . . . And Always, the first-ever biography chronicling the life of Lieutenant General Harold G. Moore, whose battlefield leadership was popularized by the film We Were Soldiers, starring Mel Gibson. Guardia has been nominated twice for the Army Historical Foundation's Distinguished Writing Award and is an active member in the Military Writers Society of America.
 
As a speaker, Guardia hosts the lecture series “Hal Moore: Lessons in Leadership,” which is available for presentation at schools, businesses, and civic organizations worldwide. He has given presentations at the US Special Operations Command and the International Spy Museum. His work has been reviewed in the Washington TimesArmchair GeneralARMY magazine, defenceWeb, and Miniature Wargames UK.
 
Guardia holds a bachelor of arts and master of arts in American history from the University of Houston. He currently lives in Texas.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Open Road Media
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Published on
Sep 25, 2018
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Pages
1980
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ISBN
9781504056090
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Language
English
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Genres
Biography & Autobiography / Military
History / Asia / Southeast Asia
History / Military / Veterans
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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The definitive biography of Harold G. Moore, hero of the Vietnam War and author of the bestselling memoir of the battle at Ia Drang.

Hal Moore, one of the most admired American combat leaders of the last fifty years, has until now been best known to the public for being portrayed by Mel Gibson in the movie We Were Soldiers. In this first-ever, fully illustrated biography, we finally learn the full story of one of America’s true military heroes.
A 1945 graduate of West Point, Moore’s first combats occurred during the Korean War, where he fought in the battles of Old Baldy, T-Bone, and Pork Chop Hill. At the beginning of the Vietnam War, Moore commanded the 1st Battalion of the 7th Cavalry in the first full-fledged battle between US and North Vietnamese regulars. Drastically outnumbered and nearly overrun, Moore led from the front, and though losing seventy-nine soldiers, accounted for 1,200 of the enemy before the Communists withdrew. This Battle of Ia Drang pioneered the use of “air mobile infantry”—delivering troops into battle via helicopter—which became the staple of US operations for the remainder of the war. He later wrote of his experiences in the bestselling book We Were Soldiers Once . . . and Young.
Following his tour in Vietnam, he assumed command of the 7th Infantry Division, forward-stationed in South Korea, and in 1971, he took command of the Army Training Center at Fort Ord, California. In this capacity, he oversaw the US Army’s transition from a conscript-based to an all-volunteer force. He retired as a lieutenant general in 1977.
Hal Moore graciously allowed the author interviews and granted full access to his files and collection of letters, documents, and never-before-published photographs. 
Repackaged in a new tie-in edition to coincide with the Netflix film produced and directed by Angelina Jolie, a moving story of war crimes and desperate actions, the unnerving strength of a small girl and her triumphant spirit as she survived the Cambodian genocide under Pol Pot’s brutal regime.

Until the age of five, Loung Ung lived in Phnom Penh, one of seven children of a high-ranking government official. She was a precocious child who loved the open city markets, fried crickets, chicken fights, and sassing her parents. While her beautiful mother worried that Loung was a troublemaker—that she stomped around like a thirsty cow—her beloved father knew Loung was a clever girl.

When Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge army stormed into Phnom Penh in April 1975, Ung’s family fled their home and moved from village to village to hide their identity, their education, their former life of privilege. Eventually, the family dispersed in order to survive. Loung trained as a child soldier in a work camp for orphans, while other siblings were sent to labor camps. As the Vietnamese penetrated Cambodia, destroying the Khmer Rouge, Loung and her surviving siblings were slowly reunited.

Bolstered by the shocking bravery of one brother, the courage and sacrifices of the rest of her family—and sustained by her sister’s gentle kindness amid brutality—Loung forged on to create for herself a courageous new life. Harrowing yet hopeful, insightful and compelling, this story is truly unforgettable.

 

A main selection of the Military Book Club and a selection of the History Book Club
 
With his parting words, “I shall return,” General Douglas MacArthur sealed the fate of the last American forces on Bataan. Yet one young Army Captain named Russell Volckmann refused to surrender. He disappeared into the jungles of north Luzon where he raised a Filipino army of more than 22,000 men. For the next three years he led a guerrilla war against the Japanese, killing more than 50,000 enemy soldiers. At the same time he established radio contact with MacArthur’s headquarters in Australia and directed Allied forces to key enemy positions. When General Yamashita finally surrendered, he made his initial overtures not to MacArthur, but to Volckmann.
 
This book establishes how Volckmann’s leadership was critical to the outcome of the war in the Philippines. His ability to synthesize the realities and potential of guerrilla warfare led to a campaign that rendered Yamashita’s forces incapable of repelling the Allied invasion. Had it not been for Volckmann, the Americans would have gone in “blind” during their counter-invasion, reducing their efforts to a trial-and-error campaign that would undoubtedly have cost more lives, materiel, and potentially stalled the pace of the entire Pacific War.
 
Second, this book establishes Volckmann as the progenitor of modern counterinsurgency doctrine and the true “Father” of Army Special Forces—a title that history has erroneously awarded to Colonel Aaron Bank of the European Theater of Operations. In 1950, Volckmann wrote two army field manuals: Operations Against Guerrilla Forces and Organization and Conduct of Guerrilla Warfare, though today few realize he was their author. Together, they became the US Army’s first handbooks outlining the precepts for both special warfare and counter-guerrilla operations. Taking his argument directly to the army chief of staff, Volckmann outlined the concept for Army Special Forces. At a time when US military doctrine was conventional in outlook, he marketed the ideas of guerrilla warfare as a critical force multiplier for any future conflict, ultimately securing the establishment of the Army’s first special operations unit—the 10th Special Forces Group.
 
Volckmann himself remains a shadowy figure in modern military history, his name absent from every major biography on MacArthur, and in much of the Army Special Forces literature. Yet as modest, even secretive, as Volckmann was during his career, it is difficult to imagine a man whose heroic initiative had more impact on World War II. This long overdue book not only chronicles the dramatic military exploits of Russell Volckmann, but analyzes how his leadership paved the way for modern special warfare doctrine.
 
Mike Guardia, currently an officer in the US 1st Armored Division is also author of Shadow Commander, about the career of Donald Blackburn, and an upcoming biography of Hal Moore.
The #1 New York Times bestselling first-person account of the planning and execution of the Bin Laden raid from a Navy SEAL who confronted the terrorist mastermind and witnessed his final moments.

From the streets of Iraq to the rescue of Captain Richard Phillips in the Indian Ocean, and from the mountaintops of Afghanistan to the third floor of Osama Bin Laden’s compound, operator Mark Owen of the U.S. Naval Special Warfare Development Group—known as SEAL Team Six—has been a part of some of the most memorable special operations in history, as well as countless missions that never made headlines.

No Easy Day puts readers alongside Owen and his fellow SEAL team members as they train for the biggest mission of their lives. The blow-by-blow narrative of the assault, beginning with the helicopter crash that could have ended Owen’s life straight through to the radio call confirming Bin Laden’s death, is an essential piece of modern history.

In No Easy Day, Owen also takes readers into the War on Terror and details the formation of the most elite units in the military. Owen’s story draws on his youth in Alaska and describes the SEALs’ quest to challenge themselves at the highest levels of physical and mental endurance. With boots-on-the-ground detail, Owen describes several missions that illustrate the life and work of a SEAL and the evolution of the team after the events of September 11.

In telling the true story of the SEALs whose talents, skills, experiences, and exceptional sacrifices led to one of the greatest victories in the War on Terror, Mark Owen honors the men who risk everything for our country, and he leaves readers with a deep understanding of the warriors who keep America safe.
The true story of the US Army legend who organized “Blackburn’s Headhunters” against Japan in WWII and went on to initiate Special Forces operations in Vietnam.

The fires on Bataan burned on the evening of April 9, 1942—illuminating the white flags of surrender against the dark sky. Outnumbered and outgunned, remnants of the American-Philippine army surrendered to the forces of the Rising Sun. Yet US Army Captain Donald D. Blackburn refused to lay down his arms. With future Special Forces legend Russell Volckmann, Blackburn escaped to the jungles of North Luzon, where they raised a private army of 22,000 men against the Japanese. His organization of native tribes into guerrilla fighters would lead to the destruction of the enemy’s naval base at Aparri.

But Blackburn’s amazing accomplishments would not end with the victory in the Pacific. He would go on to play a key role in initiating Army Special Forces operations in Southeast Asia, spearheading Operation White Star in Laos as commander of the 77th Special Forces Group and eventually taking command of the highly classified Studies and Observations Group (SOG), charged with performing secret missions now that main-force Communist incursions were on the rise.

In the wake of the CIA’s disastrous Leaping Lena program, in 1964, Blackburn revitalized the Special Operations campaign in South Vietnam. Sending reconnaissance teams into Cambodia and North Vietnam, he discovered the clandestine networks and supply nodes of the Ho Chi Minh Trail. Taking the information directly to General Westmoreland, Blackburn was authorized to conduct full-scale operations against the NVA and Viet Cong in Laos and Cambodia. In combats large and small, the Communists realized they had met a master of insurgent tactics—and he was on the US side. Following his return to the US, Blackburn was the architect of the infamous Son Tay Prison Raid, officially termed Operation Ivory Coast, the largest prisoner-of-war rescue mission—and, indeed, the largest Army Special Forces operation—of the Vietnam War.

During a period when US troops in Southeast Asia faced guerrilla armies on every side, America had a superb covert commander of its own. This book follows Blackburn through both his youthful days of desperate combat and his time as a commander, imparting his lessons to the new ranks of Army Special Forces.
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